skin flora


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skin flora

population of pathogenic and innocuous microorganisms (MOs) normally living on skin, and within mouth, respiratory tract and large intestine
  • resident skin flora MOs permanent to the individual's skin; not easily removed by normal clinical skin preparation techniques; may include resistant strains in carrier individuals, e.g. meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

  • transient skin flora non-resident MOs attached to fatty mantle, colonizing skin folds and creases, e.g. nail sulci, interdigital areas; relatively easily removed by standard skin preparation techniques (see Table 1)

Table 1: Preoperative clinical preparation
Preparation areaAction
Patient's feetIMS, or
0.5% chlorhexidine in
70% isopropyl alcohol, or
7.5% w/w povidone iodine in IMS
1. Thorough spray of solution on all aspects of both feet, swabbed off vigorously with gauze
2. Thorough spray of solution on all aspects of both feet, and left in situ to evaporate to dry for 5 minutes
ClinicianHandwashThorough handwash of all aspects of both hands using soap or chlorhexidine hand scrub or 7.5% w/w povidone-iodine and running water, for a minimum of 1 minute; dry with paper towel
Protective clothingClean short-sleeved overall or scrub suit
Fresh plastic apron and disposable gloves for each patient
Facemask and eye protection as necessary
Cover all cuts or abrasions with Band-Aid or similar
Reusable instrumentsWash off any gross contamination under running water; dry
Process instruments through benchtop dish washer
Process instruments through autoclave, and wrap for storage
Autoclaved instruments should be reprocessed even if unused 3 hours after being removed from autoclave, unless they were vacuum-autoclaved in sealed pouches
Static equipmentDamp dust all equipment surfaces, moving from high to low, at start of each clinical session
Alcohol-wipe all clinical surfaces between patients
Sweep or vacuum floor between patients
Wash floor thoroughly at least once a day
Clinical waste disposalContractual arrangement with waste disposal agency for removal and incineration of yellow bags and sharpsClean any spilt biological fluids with hypochlorite solution
Clinical waste into yellow bags
Sharps disposed into tamper-proof containers
Maintain waste disposal records
OthersClinician should use alcohol hand rub during the treatment period when control of infection (hands) protocol might have been compromised (e.g. after handling clinical notes or the telephone)
Maintain a log of autoclave use and cleaning programmes
Annual autoclave calibration check and certification
Regular update of clinician personal vaccination programme

IMS, industrial methylated spirit.

References in periodicals archive ?
In the first few weeks of life, certain factors such as the development of skin flora and other skin-regulating mechanisms lower its initial pH value.
This normal commensal skin flora can be dangerous in immunocompromised patients and in others may cause infections in sterile body cavities, in the eyes or on non-intact skin.
Furthermore, cutaneous diphtheria may be clinically indistinguishable from other common skin lesions in the tropics and underdiagnosed in cases of co-infection or confusion with the normal skin flora.
Intuitively, if the body's resident and transient skin flora are decreased preoperatively with whole-body antiseptic washing, then the overall pathogen burden should be decreased and the risk of SSI also should be reduced.
Among these measures, donor screening and skin decontamination by iodine or chlorhexidine were important steps, as majority of bacteria isolated from blood bags had been skin flora.
Staphylococcus lugdunensis in several niches of the normal skin flora.
The current paradigm for treating skin conditions, such as acne, completely disregards the importance of the commensal skin flora.
Human skin flora as a potential source of epidural abscess.
No resistant organisms were found among skin flora in the subjects, and the microbiota of the patients' skin did not change significantly during the study period, she said.
Hayek and Goomber [1] proposed various routes of infection spread such as direct spread from skin flora with migration along the catheter, contamination of the infusate, and hematogenous spread from a distant source, with prime suspicion given to that of direct spread from skin flora with migration along the epidural catheter.
No resistant organisms were found among skin flora and the microbiota of the patients' skin did not change significantly during the study period, she said.
Often, Malassezia simply forms part of our normal skin flora, but for unknown reasons it sometimes causes disease.